Poison Poultry Problems
I don’t blame the bank, but a plague of kamikaze pigeons can’t be good for a fair’s bottom line. Those festival participants down in Texarkana must be furious, what with their event being ruined by dying pigeons dive-bombing their customers.
TEXARKANA -- The city's annual festival was marred by dead pigeons nose-diving into pavement and others dying on downtown sidewalks after they ate poisoned corn from the roof of a nearby bank branch.
Authorities said they cleaned up more than 25 sick or dead birds following miscalculated pest control efforts at a CapitalOne Bank branch.
"The death of these pigeons was more than an unfortunate accident," city president for CapitalOne Bank Lacy McMillen said in today's online edition of Texarkana Gazette. "It was not the intention of the bank to harm any of these birds."
McMillen said the bank hired an exterminator to handle its pigeon problem after a bird entered the bank and defecated on a customer.
Or maybe they’re just worried about the pigeons:
Vera Martin, working at a handbag booth at the city's weekend Quadrangle Festival, said the poisoning sends a bad message to children. "I think it's cruelty to animals," she said. "What other animals could be killed in the process of doing this?"
This version of the story’s just an AP rewrite. The small-town newspaper which originally broke the story of this event shows how the AP shortened Vera Martin’s quote:
“I think its cruelty to animals,” said Martin.
“What is this telling our kids? If we killed them (animals), we would get a ticket or a fine. We raise our kids to protect these animals and they come and poison them,” said Martin. “What other animals could they kill in the process of doing this?”
Rats, perhaps. Or is Vera Martin worried about housepets which might consume the poison pigeons? If that’s her point, she sure as hell took the scenic route to get there. Incidentally, where do you draw the line between animals and vermin, in regards to which ones you can acceptably kill and which ones you can’t? Rats, roaches and insects in general fall into the “okay to kill” category. Pigeons?
Lori Anderson, a member of the Texarkana Humane Society, said though pigeons are sometimes considered “nuisance birds” anyone who wants to kill them should have a permit to do it.
Oh no. Baaaad precedent, especially if rats evolve cuteness like their cousins the rabbits and squirrels. (Cuteness is the only reason a certain children’s book is titled Peter Rabbit rather than The Thieving Rodent Whose Father Became Hasenpfeffer After He Stole The Hard-Working Farmer’s Carrots.) The only plausible rationale for pigeon permits shouldn’t come from the Humane Society, but those who might say Capital One had no right to turn their private pigeon problem into a public nuisance.
And yet, what if a homeowner plagued by flying cockroaches lays out poison, but not enough to kill them immediately? And thousands of palmetto bugs swarm out onto the street to die. If you have the right to kill a nuisance animal with poison, should you be held responsible if the animal proceeds to die without showing respect for property boundaries?